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Mishael, My Dear Friend

Thoughts in memory of a friend

Moshiko Itzchak Ha'Levi
Moshiko Itzchak Ha’Levi

I wish we could be together, sit next to each other and talk as usual about folk dance and other topics as we used to do at every meeting. I want to tell you about the relationship that existed between us and I find it difficult to speak about you in the past tense. I have a hard time believing that you are not with us.

I remember all our joint activities, as they are engraved in my body and soul. You were the first person in Israel to see my new dances. You notated my dances. We coordinated hishtalmuyot (training courses), we had joint successes and naturally, we became friends.

More than once you would advocate for me and had defended me in discussions among the dancers, who eventually realized that they were wrong.

On each of my visits to Israel (during the years I had lived in the United States), the first thing I did was pick up the phone to let you know that I had arrived, and on this occasion, we set up a meeting.

You asked me to come and hosted me at your dance sessions, whether in Beit Barbur, in Jaffa, at Kfar Maccabiah, in Bikurei Ha’Itim, in Beit HaSofer or in Beit Dani.

I traveled with you, in your car, to many different places, some happy and some sad. The very thought that we were together, not specifically in the context of dancing, added another dimension to our friendship.

A few years ago, when the date of the elections for Irgun HaMarkidim came, you approached me with a proposal to become the chairman of the organization. You told me about the difficult situation of the organization, both organizationally and socially. You told me that my personality would bring a different atmosphere to the organization. You, Mishael, were the one who worked hard to convince the voters to vote for me and, thanks to you, I was elected. Unfortunately, after a year and two months, I had to give up this position, as it was not appreciated.

I reported everything that was happening in the organization to you. But you, too, were forced to agree, due to lack of choice and considering the general prevailing atmosphere, that I would do well to give up the position as chairman of the organization.

Mishael, my dear friend, you were one of the pillars of Israeli folk dance, one of the most successful markidim (dance leaders). You were in demand to lead dancing at the Independence Day events. Whenever you were asked, you helped many of the dancers and, above all, you taught the dancers to love Israeli folk dance.

Mishal, my dear friend, I will not hesitate to say that I will miss you very much because our companionship contained so many qualities that will continue to be engraved within me.

Rest in peace, Mishael. For the rest of my life, I will continue to remember the wonderful friendship we had.


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